Categories
empowerment self discovery

Where I See Myself

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“I want to write. I want to write stories that make people feel less alone than I did. I want to make people laugh about the things in life that are painful. That’s what I want to do.” –Hannah, Girls

I am finally finishing Girls, one of my favorite TV shows.  Over the past couple of years I’ve been absorbed in my own life, without HBO (until now) or television in general.  However, it’s a good thing I am finishing the series when I am, because the synchronicities between Hannah Horvath and myself are out of control.

Not only is she an only child from Michigan like me, she moved to New York City with the dream of becoming a writer.  She got herself into ridiculous situations, met a plethora of crazy characters, and even was published in the Modern Love section of the New York Times- yet another goal of mine.

When asked where she wanted to be in three to five years by author Chuck Palmer (who stated how much he loves Traverse City, my hometown), she told him she wanted to write.

The vulnerability of writing is powerful, healing, and helpful to others- and like Hannah, I want to write to make people not feel so alone, too.

I’ve never been good at “jobs;” as a creative person, I’ve struggled in office environments.  I’ve had creative differences with people I have worked for.  I have had a vision, a dream, and a wild streak- something that employers generally don’t value or understand.

Freelance writing is something I am looking to do full-time, yet working on my book is my top priority right now.  In addition to writing two Modern Love stories, I have an outline for a fictional, yet semi-autobiographical book based on my life in New York City and beyond.

We will see where my path leads, but I know who I am, and I know what I am good at.  I know my dreams and goals, and in this chapter, I won’t let sitting at someone else’s desk get in my way.

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Categories
mindfulness self discovery

There’s No Such Thing As “Bored;” Creating Your Own Life

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”

~Oscar Wilde

As a writer and artist, I’m personally offended by the term “boredom.”

“You’re not bored,” I always think when someone tells me this. “You just aren’t willing to use your imagination.”

As Berry Draper once said to her restless children, “only boring people are bored.” Although this is a little harsh, I agree with Mad Men’s leading lady.

Being “bored” is being blind to all the opportunities around us.

On Saturday, I spent the day walking around Boston. A few people asked if I was going to go visit my friend in Arlington as I did a couple weeks before. “No,” I replied. “I’m going to the Back Bay to have a ‘Kristin day.'”

“Doing what?” they wondered, perplexed.

I just looked at them. “Taking pictures, writing, window shopping. Meditation, relaxing.”

It’s shocking how people think there needs to be a grand reason. It’s also surprising to me how few people enjoy being alone. There’s always something to do, see, think about, or create. Whether it’s admiring the window displays on Newbury Street or taking a walk down Commonwealth Avenue, experiencing the world outside and the beauty all around is much more rewarding than sitting in front of a television.

I’d prefer to write my own story instead of watching someone else’s fictional version on TV.

If you ever find yourself into the “boredom trap,” just think- what haven’t I seen? Where haven’t I been? What haven’t I read? What can I write?

When you create your own days instead of waiting for life to happen, you’ll be amazed at what you find.

Categories
mindfulness

Grounded and Grateful

I had never truly thought about being “grounded” until I began learning about the seven chakras last fall. Yes, the concept has come up throughout my life, but I failed to embody its meaning until recently.

I’ll admit, I’m a woman with her head in the clouds- whimsy and wild. My dreams are grandiose, my mind is fixated in the future, and I’m always looking for a deeper meaning to what is right in front of me. However, through meditation and nature, I began my own grounding practice without even knowing it.

There’s nothing like sitting in the grass, watching the birds fly by, smelling the crisp fall air, or sitting still to observe.

~

After a lack of creativity, I decided to balance my chakras, meditate, and free write yesterday. I came up with seven poems- each corresponding to a chakra- to reframe my thinking and open my consciousness.

The first is “Muladhara,” or “Rooted,” for the Root Chakra. Red Jasper supports this chakra with its grounding, safety, inner strength, and balancing properties.

I hope you enjoy my poem and find your own inner peace, grounding, and gratitude this weekend. 🙏🏻

When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens: Embracing Endless Opportunity (Even When You’re In Limbo)

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It’s funny how having faith in the unknown can be one of the most comforting feelings.  Even though it’s hard to be in “limbo,” having endless possibilities is both exciting and encouraging.

“The benefit of having little clue as to what is happening in one’s life is the possibility that something amazing is right around the corner.”

My friend Ashley tweeted this quote a few years ago, which has become my go-to any time I feel discouraged.  In the five years I’ve known Ashley, we’ve both moved states multiple times, switched cities, changed boyfriends, left jobs, started websites, and one of us was even on a TLC dating show.

Needless to say, both of us have had little clue as to what was going on in our lives.

I’ve written for Ashley’s website Kinda Kind for two years now, and I’m ever-so-grateful to her for providing a platform for me to segway into writing about mindfulness and self improvement.  Two months before my first Kinda Kind post I accidentally deleted my fashion blog; even though I have no idea how it happened (not to mention my initial mini meltdown), it was a breath of fresh air.  I was ready to get rid of my fashionista identity and wanted to start a writing career with substance.

It was also around that time in 2016 when I started to purge my possessions, focus on quality over quantity, and made meditation and mindfulness a top priority in my life.  2016 was an extremely rough year, but thanks to the struggles, I gained a whole new strength.  I had no idea that my challenges would result in a life of mindfulness and minimalism, but I’m sure glad it did.

Back in 2016, Ashley left San Francisco to move back to Chicago, and I left New York City- the place I thought was my heart- that July.  The year ended on a positive note with my move to Boston and a newfound optimism, faith, and zest for life.  I just knew there was something wonderful out there for me- and even though I didn’t know what it was, I was confident I would find it.

I’ve had a lot of changes since moving to Boston.  Over holiday break I started to re-think teaching, concerned about going a week without pay.  Although I adored it (with the exception of the biting and hitting), it was barely enough to cover my rent.  It’s a hard pill to swallow when you made 4X the money a decade ago, straight out of college.  I considered a part time job, but I knew it would be too stressful for me to manage it all.  So, with no idea what I would do, I continued to write, put in the legwork, and reach out to my connections.

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I’m proud of myself for how I handled my “limbo” phase.  Sure, I went hermit for a while and was a bit depressed, but I pulled myself out of it and re-gained my energy.

Once my energy was back it was time to start pounding the pavement.  Last Monday I spotted a post on Facebook from one of my San Francisco friends, looking for someone to hire for a part-time role.  It seemed perfect- an Austin-based fashion brand had a huge need for someone to help with messaging and customer communication.   By Thursday, I had a company email address and got started on my first projects.

It gets better.  The following day I met with a criminal defense law firm about a marketing and assistant role.  Some of you may know this, but most of you probably don’t- prior to marketing, I worked at a San Francisco law firm and studied for the LSAT.  On a warm spring day back in 2009 I walked over to the University of San Francisco to take the test- with absolutely no desire to actually go to law school.  I’m not sure what happened in those six months, but I was certain law school wasn’t in the cards.

Although I decided I didn’t want to be an attorney, I’ve always loved law firms.  I don’t know why- I think it partially has to do with the fact my father was a lawyer (I used to “help out” when I was a little tike), but also due the interesting nature of the cases.

Fast-forward to a week later, I officially have two jobs doing things I love, I’ll be working with great people, and will still have the time to write.  I couldn’t have planned this out more perfectly on my own, which just goes to show that worrying is a waste of time and energy.

It’s amazing what the Universe delivers when you have faith.  Ashley and I chatted about this the other day- now living in Los Angeles, she’s also looking for that “next step.”  As she grows her brand I offered to help in whatever way I can.  That said, I’m excited to share that I’ll be a regular contributor to Kinda Kind, focusing on self-improvement and relationships!  I’ll be sure to share the launch of the new website sections when they’re live.

I’m grateful to have someone in my life like Ashley.  She totally gets it when I share my life challenges- no judgement, no eye-rolls.  Both Capricorns yet free spirits, we have a million ideas in our heads, but sometimes it’s difficult to prioritize.  This is exactly why you just need to go with the flow of the Universe- one door may close, but there’s a shiny door waiting for you just down the road.  Trust me.

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Categories
conscious living self discovery

Limited Beliefs: The Only Thing Holding You Back

In a world of hustle and bustle, taxes and retirement plans, societal norms and laws, it can be difficult to embody a spiritual life.  I’ve spent much of the past few years questioning the “expectations” of our culture, usually standing critically on the sidelines and running off to do my own thing.  Living as simply as possible has been crucial to my happiness, but our world always has a way of reminding me to stay grounded and focused on the light.  Instead of falling into depression or anxiety about the chaos around me, I chose to live in my own little world.

Who are we to say that the world can’t be a magical place?

Remember the excitement and wonder we had as children?  The curiosity we had for what was around every corner, for what each day had in store, for the enchantment of the unknown?  I’ve lived a lot of my adult life this way; discovering new places, making new friends, finding myself in once-in-a-lifetime situations.  I had a great sense of wonder as I moved from city to city, neighborhood to neighborhood.  I still feel that way as I explore places I’ve never been, snap photos of buildings I’ve never seen, and meet people from all over the world.

However, the “real world” sets in.  People criticize us, remind us of our failures, pick at our faults, and tell us our dreams aren’t possible.  That’s dense 3D energy that you don’t need.  No one ever achieved greatness by being held back by their critics.   As we enter the New Moon in Capricorn, I’m trying to leave behind my limited beliefs- the beliefs that tell me things aren’t possible, that I can’t, or the voice telling me “that won’t happen.”

Anything can happen.

Most of the magical moments are those we never expect.  I never would have been able to make up many of the tales I have yet to tell had I not had that wide-eyed wonder and joy.  Moving to New York City was a huge part of this for me; it seemed like a fantasy land where reality didn’t exist.  In a city of bright lights and dreams, I had the belief anything was possible- but just because I’m no longer doesn’t mean the magic has ended.  In fact, it’s more powerful than ever- because I’m conscious of it.

The best is yet to come.  

During this New Moon, I am letting go of what I once was and making room for the magic that is on its way.  Although I recently deemed harmony as my word of the year, my theme for 2018 is limitless.  Limitless opportunities and infinite possibility.  The only person who has held me back from success, happiness, or stability is myself; if I continue to follow my heart, listen to my soul, and continue working hard, the magic will present itself.

and this time, I won’t have to chase it.